We’re here on the western edge of the Northern Rocky Mountains, and spring has arrived in the rivers and canyons that drain the high country. In general, our weeklong journey follows the flow of the water westward, toward the ocean. However, this morning we started our adventure by travelling upstream. We moved up the Snake River, southward and deep into Hells Canyon. Our comfortable home, National Geographic Sea Bird, was tied up in the Port of Clarkston. We used contract jet boats for the trip today. These boats use powerful motors to drive water through a turbine pump, allowing the boats to fly against the current in only a few inches of water. The Clarkston/Lewiston area is a center for jet boat manufacturing and activity in the U.S.
National Geographic Sea Bird
O! the Joy! Hmm, we needed to rethink that one this morning, as we woke to a rainy and blustery Astoria. What this weather did give us was a taste of historic authenticity in relation to the Corps of Discovery and their experiences here in the winter of 1805-06. Our first activity this morning was amongst the magnificent exhibits of the Columbia River Maritime Museum. This world-class facility tells the story of the mighty Columbia and the treacherous results to mariners when the river shoves against the incoming tides of the Pacific Ocean. As our day progressed, we crossed the Astoria-Megler bridge to the state of Washington. At the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center the winds continued but the rain subsided, and we enjoyed a sun-drenched afternoon with an option to walk a forest trail down to Waikiki Beach. The sun and sand were a siren to us and we made an additional stop at the North Jetty to get a water-level view of the waves crashing against the rocks of the Cape Disappointment lighthouse. The day turned out anything but disappointing.